The South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) is the controlling body and authority which all Sectional Education Training Authority (SETA) and individual government or private accredited training providers are accredited with and report through to. Unfortunately, there are non accredited training providers in the industry and hence it is important for clients so ensure that their choses training provider is actually correctly accredited.
A hot topic in the health and safety training industry at the moment is accredited training providers, SETA accreditation, fraudulent training certificates and what are the implications of getting mislead? With legal compliance training being a legal requirement for most companies in South Africa, a lot of scammers are pursuing the opportunity to make a quick buck at the expense of the learner and or company paying for the course! There are many training providers, some with well-known names, who are not fully accredited, or just not interested in complying with the requirements laid out to them by the relevant accreditation bodies. As a customer always request proof of SETA accreditation and Department of Labour (DOL) accreditation (for First Aid training) before booking your employees for training.
Unaccredited training could mean that you receive substandard or unrecognised and irrelevant training, with incorrect equipment usage in the training, and/or incorrect techniques being taught. Candidates may well return to the workplace without having gained quality knowledge and skills, with funds being wasted and candidates hesitant to attend training again going forward. Learning should be a lifelong journey that is interesting and exciting, not a journey that is ruined by fraudulent and non-accredited training providers! Training is about empowering people, something only accredited training providers can provide.
Who are Accredited Training Providers?
When a client starts looking for a training provider, the primary point of the investigation must be whether training providers are accredited or not and you as the client needs to be aware of what is considered “accredited”. Some providers will produce irrelevant registration documents with governing bodies like South African Institute of Safety and Health (SAIOSH) which is an institute within the health and safety sector and not a SAQA accreditation authority. Or companies may provide you with “recognised by, or affiliated with” certificates from bodies like the Mpumalanga Tourism Board for example, when asked for accreditation documentation. Belonging to institutions or bodies like these are not a requirement for “accreditation” nor does it mean that their training is “accredited”. It is advised and encouraged that health and safety training providers belong to these to be kept informed and up to date on new legislation, trends and information in their respective sectors, fields and specialities.
Accredited training providers need to hold current and valid accreditation certificates and documents from a specific or various Sectional Education Training Authority’s (SETA) thus holding SETA accreditation. There are many different SETAs in South Africa each one specialising in different fields e.g. CETA in Construction, MERSETA in Manufacturing and Engineering, HWSETA in Health and Welfare, etc. Courses like First Aid can have unit standards in different SETAs where other more specialized courses would only be with a single SETA. When you investigate accredited training providers double check that the unit standard of the courses you need are on the SETA accreditation letter. Training providers also need to ensure that their trainers are accredited Assessor, registered against the specific required unit standard (example First Aid) from the SETA where the training provider holds its accreditation from.
Absolute Health Services Pty Ltd is a fully accredited Health and Welfare SETA training and skills development provider and is accredited against many specific health and safety unit standards and skills programs.
Do Training Service Providers have to be Accredited?
It is a SAQA and government requirement that all training providers claiming to be accredited training providers, offer SAQA and National Qualifications Framework (NQF) or SETA aligned and accredited training courses. If a training provider wishes to offer un or non-accredited training, then they may do so, but they must be clear to inform clients that their training is not accredited and must not advertise that it is accredited. Unaccredited training providers are not allowed to make potential clients believe that they are accredited and neither are they allowed to issue any certificates of competence. Should they do this they are seen as fraudulent and will face closure as per SAQA and the National Qualifications Amendment Act 12 of 2019.
Within the occupational health and safety and pre-hospital emergency care environment, first aid is an extremely important course to companies, individuals and authorities such as the Department of Labour, SAQA and the various SETA’s. With First Aid Training we reference to the General Safety Regulations Section 3, where it states that employers must train their employees through the SA Red Cross Society, St John’s Ambulance, the SA First Aid League or any organization approved by the chief inspector (from the Department of Labour – DoL). The DoL will only authorize first aid accreditation to SETA accredited training providers and companies have to use accredited training providers for their First Aid training. If you don’t you may face the penalties mentioned in Section 14 of the same Regulation and the penalties include up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine or both!
Although there are many SETAs in South Africa the Health and Welfare SETA is the primary SETA that is responsible for quality assurance for all occupational health and safety related training and courses. An example would be with First Aid unit standards the Health and Welfare (HWSETA) is the primary and main body responsible for First Aid accreditation.
In order to obtain SETA accreditation with the HWSETA an accredited training provider needs to have a subject matter expert as a director within their company. This is to ensure that the company makes appropriate director or board training related decisions, which positively affect the company’s training standards and training delivery. This requirement prevent persons with no knowledge or experience of occupational health and safety, or First Aid from starting a health and safety or First Aid accredited training company and train delegates in irrelevant or incorrect information. The HWSETA require high standards, quality training equipment, accredited and registered assessors and moderators, appropriate and correct course information in the training manuals and an acceptable teaching environment before they will accredit a training provider. All of these requirements require considerable effort and capital investment and for this reason many training providers don’t worry about obtaining correct accreditation, as they don’t have the financial reserves and appetite to see the accreditation process through.
When you receive very cheap training quotations please keep in mind that you are probably being set up for non accredited training, as the costs for SETA accreditation, qualified instructors, adequate material and equipment, and an approved training premises are not incurred by these providers!
Absolute Health as an Accredited Training Provider – Offering SETA Accredited Training
Absolute Health Services is a Department of Labour and SETA accredited training provider. Our main accreditation lies with the HWSETA and apart from a list of accredited unit standards and skills programs we also hold accreditation for all 3 levels of First Aid! Our Management team holds B-tech degrees in Emergency Medical Care with a combined prehospital emergency experience of over 70 years! Our instructors are all qualified paramedics registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa, Health & Safety Officers and Assessors and Moderators with various SETAs against the accredited courses that we have on offer! As a company we are also registered with the South African Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH), Emergency Care and Safety Institute (ECSI), the Resuscitation Council of Southern Africa (RCSA) as well as the Durban University of Technology (DUT).
We bring years of experience, knowledge and practical know-how to our learning events. Added to our accreditations, national footprint, and focus on customer satisfaction Absolute Health Services is a leading SETA accredited training provider when it comes to First Aid, Health & Safety and Emergency Preparedness training!